Shaken baby syndrome is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a brain injury that occurs from forceful shaking of a toddler or infant. As one of the most serious forms of child abuse, shaken baby syndrome can result in serious cognitive impairments or even death.
Some of the most common signs of shaken baby syndrome include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty staying awake
- Pale skin
- Poor diet and eating habits
If you’re under investigation for child abuse, with the authorities suspecting shaken baby syndrome, they’re sure to focus on these symptoms.
Why does it happen?
If an adult’s head is shook violently back and forth, it’ll most likely result in a muscle strain or sprain.
However, due to the fact that babies have weak neck muscles, they’re unable to properly support their head. So, if a baby is shaken, their brain forcefully moves around inside the skull. The end result can be bleeding on the brain, swelling and bruising.
Why do people shake babies?
There’s no excuse for this, but shaken baby syndrome is typically a result of anger of frustration. For example, if a child won’t fall asleep or stop crying, shaking them out of frustration could occur.
Some of the risk factors associated with shaken baby syndrome include:
- Stress as a result of parenting
- Substance abuse, such as alcohol or illegal drugs
- Single parenthood
- Unrealistic expectations, such as assuming a baby will sleep through the night
- Unstable family life
- Domestic violence
- History of abuse
In addition to death, shaken baby syndrome can result in lifelong conditions such as blindness, seizures, learning problems and behavioral issues.
If you’re arrested for child abuse stemming from shaken baby syndrome, it’s critical that you take the time to learn more about your charges. This has the potential to change your life forever, with a conviction potentially landing you in prison.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to defending against child abuse charges. Your approach depends largely on the circumstances of your case.
It’s critical to understand your legal rights, possible defense strategies and how you’ll move through the legal system.